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Boston Bruins

By Matt Dolloff,

David Pastrnak took his game to a ludicrous new level for the Bruins in Game 2. The 21-year-old’s confidence looks to have spiked, a year removed from a trying first playoff season. He’s also not facing the trapping Senators, but the leaky Leafs defense. And to say the least, he took advantage of it.

The NBC Sports broadcast team described Pastrnak’s first goal as “artful” several times. It certainly showed a special level of creativity to sense the open space going to the backhand, but it also showed incredible hand-eye to be able to corral the puck off an exceptionally tricky bounce. Here’s how Pastrnak described the play:

“The first goal I think they tipped it – the pass from Torey [Krug] – I didn’t feel like I could get the shot on the forehand so I just kind of spun onto my backhand and found a little bit of time so I moved the puck farther and got a good goal.”

He didn’t speak about his second goal, which was a nice tip-in. But that’s also because the Leafs had no defense to speak of. I believe Michael Hurley of CBS Boston would describe this as the “Zero Humans” defense. The kind of breakdown you see sometimes in Patriots games when the defense just doesn’t cover Rob Gronkowski. Somehow, no one in white thought to stay anywhere near the net or stick with Pastrnak. He had nothing to go through for this:

(Screenshot via NBC Sports Network)

But Pastrnak did talk about the third goal, which was an amazing display of hands and instincts. The game certainly felt more in-hand once Pastrnak scored his second goal, but “Pasta” was just feeling loose by this point in the game, like he could do anything. Here’s how he put it:

“The puck was a little bit behind me so I tried to fake shoot and I do that move a lot so I felt the confidence to do it.”

Toronto has had no answer for the Bruins’ No. 1 line. They really don’t have the personnel to find one, not consistently. As long as Pastrnak looks like this, it’s going to be hard for the Leafs to keep up.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at

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